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'The Wiz Live!' ratings drop a house on 'Peter Pan'

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Virginia Sherwood/NBC

It’s a ratings tornado!

The Wiz Live! delivered big numbers for NBC on Thursday night. The network’s latest live musical was seen by 11.1 million viewers and, more impressively, delivered a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49. 

Those numbers crush NBC’s previous musical, last year’s widely panned Peter Pan Live!, which had 9.2 million viewers and a soft 2.4 rating. 

But they’re nowhere close to A Sound of Music Live! two years ago, which had about 19 million viewers and a 4.6 rating. 

The Wiz Live! is the highest-rated Thursday telecast by any network in more than a year — excluding sports — and is NBC’s second-highest rating in more than five years (trailing only The Sound of Music Live!).

Critics enjoyed the production too. “Can you feel a brand new day? Well, kind of. They’re using iPads and eating sushi in Munchkinland. The Scarecrow’s doing the stanky legg. The Tin Man is dabbing. Dorothy’s got squad goals. Emerald City looks like a fabulous gay club from Paris Is Burning. The Wiz is a woman, or maybe she’s just gender fluid — all we know is that she doesn’t correct anyone who calls her ‘sir.’ And the best live NBC musical of the past few years has an all-black cast,” wrote EW’s Melissa Maerz in her review, which gave the broadcast an A-minus grade.

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